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Written between 1818 and 1823, Beethoven's Missa solemnis was the result of intensive theological and musical research in the library of it's dedicatee, Archduke Rudolph of Austria. It is, in Beethoven's own view, his most ambitious composition. On this recording, René Jacobs shows us that it is also his loftiest. This is the work of a composer with deeply held religious sentiments and profound tenderness for humanity, so confident in his artistry that he could create that which goes beyond liturgical form and expresses in musical terms the universality of divine transcendence.